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Mobile

  • Wake up call: why mobile money should matter to the South African government

    Speaking at The Economist Conference in Johannesburg, late 2014, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said, “There is a perception that financial inclusion efforts will necessarily lead to increased financial risk and hence have a negative effect on financial stability. However, if financial inclusion is approached from a systemic perspective and pursued responsibly, the opposite is true”. This tells, without a doubt, that government is eager for a nation where no one is financially excluded; where the poor, the marginalised and those who live in far-flung areas have no access to banks and other financial services. Mobile money is an efficient...

  • 11 massive predictions about the future of mobile and mobile data

    At this stage, telling anyone that we live in a mobile world seems more or less pointless. Our phones are hardwired into our daily lives and, for many of us, can seem more like artificial limbs than everyday devices. They’ve changed the world too. Web designers now think about how you’ll experience a site on a phone or tablet before they think about how you’ll see it on a desktop. Apps meanwhile have gone from single function curiosities to powerful tools that allow us to do everything from hailing private cars to making investments on the fly. Given...

  • SA set for 4G explosion and 14 other mindblowing mobile stats

    Between the country’s largest network announcing plans to hike voice and data rates and finding out that the Samsung Galaxy S6 will be bafflingly expensive, there hasn’t been much for South African mobile users to celebrate of late. They may however take a little solace in the prediction that they’re a lot more likely to have 4G coverage in the next five years. According to Cisco, the ongoing adoption of more powerful devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections may see 3G surpassing 2G as the top cellular technology, based on connection share, by 2016. 4G will meanwhile account for 56.1%...

  • Mobile first design: why responding to technology is imperative

    Paradigms change. Sometimes they change naturally. Others need a little nudge in the right direction. Mobile first design is an example of the latter. The idea of Mobile First Design has been around for a while now. Google started floating the idea back in 2010 and really started pushing it shortly after. But Google pushes a lot of ideas and the wake of their changes tend to be both broad and long. There is an enormous audience of developers, advertisers and businesses that respond to the disruptive changes Google makes. It can take a while for all of them to...

  • SMS, Facebook dominate mobile activity in 5 of Africa’s biggest economies

    People speak about Africa as “the mobile continent” so frequently that it’s become a cliche. People throw the phrase around as if it explains everything, without ever really interrogating exactly what it is Africans do with their mobile devices. One attempt to change that comes courtesy of technology research outfit World Wide Worx, which has published the results of its survey of 3 500 mobile phone users in five of Africa’s major markets, namely South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda. The survey reveals somewhat unsurprisingly, that there’s been a rise of internet access via phones, the potential demise of...

  • Kenya’s internet access continues to experience growth

    Kenya The Communications Authority of Kenya has revealed impressive data about Kenya’s internet access. According to them the number of internet users in the country has grown to reach 26.1-million. This translates to 64.3 per 100 inhabitants with access to internet. Data/internet subscriptions grew by 10.8% to reach 16.4-million during the second quarter of the 2014/15 financial year, October to December 2014. Coming as no surprise, the report reveals that the majority of users continue to access the internet through their mobile phones. The increased uptake has been attributed to the number of promotions carried out by various service providers and...

  • The digital experience needs to be about the customer

    It’s a dog eat dog world in the business sector as organisations scramble to find differentiators that enable them stand out from the competition. Disruptive technologies are changing how we do business, yet it isn’t the technology vendors nor software stacks that are providing the cutting edge. It’s the next step in the evolution of customer experience: the digital experience. According to a report compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the impact of digitisation is so powerful that it has replaced regulation as the top concern for retail banks. A separate study by Accenture and Oxford Economics has also revealed...

  • SA retailers need to get to grips with location-based messaging

    The retail industry is faced with the challenges of maintaining market share and profits and while international companies are fast to adopt and exploit new marketing opportunities provided by location-based technologies, local companies have been slow to adopt and maximize the full potential of these mobile technologies. Reasons for the lack of uptake are often due to the infancy of their overall mobile strategies or because retailers quite simply do not know how to harness location based messaging to support their businesses. Many also have the misconception that implementing these advanced tools will prove highly complex, time consuming and expensive. But...

  • Facebook introduces Analytics For Apps for cross device mobile analytics

    With 1. 39 billion users per month, Facebook is officially the most populous nation on earth. In the spirit of a country, as we already think of it as so, the company is building resources to meet the demands of its growing population. Much like a city does to address urbanisation, Facebook is bolstering every aspect of itself. Amongst the list of announcements Facebook has made at F8, is Analytics for Apps, a new tool for marketers that makes it possible for them to track people who are access their apps and website across multiple devices. The service is available...

  • Enterprise mobile apps should be as simple and functional as their consumer equivalents

    Companies that want to drive the best results from mobilising their business processes need to give their employees access to apps that are as simple, attractive, integrated and rich as the consumer mobile apps they use every day. This means organisations and their IT departments must learn from best practices in consumer app design and put the end-user experience at the heart of their mobile app development decisions. The simple, beautiful design of consumer apps such as Evernote, WhatsApp, Dropbox, and various social media tools has set the benchmark for enterprise mobile apps. Mobile business solutions that are difficult...

  • Facebook introduces free payments on Messenger

    Facebook has revealed that users can send money to other users using the Messenger app at no charge. Facebook Messenger payments will roll out first in the US over the coming months. The feature lets users connect their Visa or Mastercard debit card and tap a “$” button to send friends money on iOS, Android, and desktop. One of the big benefits of sending money on mobile is the convenience of it, both in its easy way to send money and that it is always a mobile handset away. While the feature is available on desktop too, its popularity will...

  • In the near future mobile-only/mobile-first will be the rule, not the exception

    In 2015 every website must be mobile ready because everything’s shifting mobile. What’s more, according to Ovum, one billion people will use mobile as their only form of internet access in 2015. Ninety three percent of users on Facebook are accessing the internet via mobile in SA – that’s more than 10-million people! The proof is in the profit. Facebook almost doubled its net income in 2014, lifted by growing mobile ad revenue. Facebook reported earnings of US$2.9-billion for 2014, compared with US$1.5-billion for the same period in 2013. Revenue jumped 58% to US$12.8 billion. In the fourth quarter alone, the...

  • M-Pesa users can now send money between Kenya and Tanzania

    Mobile money service M-Pesa is usually one of the first names mentioned when it comes to revolutionary African mobile products. It has however been largely restricted to use within the individual countries it operates in. Until now, that is. M-Pesa customers in Kenya and Tanzania can now send and receive money from each other at the same cost as sending it locally. Speaking in Dar es Salaam, Vodacom Tanzania Managing Director Rene Meza said that the large amounts of money flowing between the two countries was evidence of a market for the cross-border service. “Statistics from the World Bank,...

  • Huge number of women still don’t have access to mobile devices

    A new report titled ‘Bridging the gender gap: mobile access and usage in low and middle-income countries’ by GSMA reveals that there’s still massive inequality between genders when it comes to mobile access. According to the report, a woman is still 21% less likely to own a mobile phone than a man. This figure increases to 23% if she lives in Africa, 24% if she lives in the Middle East, and 37% if she lives in South Asia. “Closing this gender gap would bring the benefits of mobile phones to an additional 300 million women,” the GSMA says. “By extending...

  • You can now be a grownup and invest actual money through an app

    I honestly thought it couldn’t be done. I thought it was too risky and that my money would disappear in a day. But it didn’t. I’ve actually become someone who invests my savings, and it’s all thanks to an app. Back in 2012, I was probably one of the first people to start using 22seven, at least the first among my friends and family. At the time most major banks didn’t trust the service and prevented 22seven from accessing users’ personal bank accounts. But I trusted the guy who worked for a bank where I nearly lost my money but...